Mar 19 — Apr 14, 2007
Please pay a visit to Tillykke Lille Fugl (Congratulations Little Bird,) up today until April 14th at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in downtown Philadelphia, an exhibition about young artists from Copenhagen and the Danish daily practice of art and life in lockstep.
Over the past four years this practice has provided deep inspiration to the in-house
curatorial department at Fleisher/Ollman by placing commercial American art
exhibition in sharp relief with the alternatives it has offered. It is kind, effortlessly civil, profoundly sincere, and pacifistic. It finds ways to pull off ambitious art pieces, global travel, education, and youth- oriented events without Faustian compromise with the government, corporations, or rich folk. Commercial success and celebrity status remain tertiary concerns behind clarity of expression and maximal breadth of audience.
Performance is the crucible for much of their expression, and the last year has brought world-class artist/musicians into their circle for one-off collaborations, among them pioneering noise obssessives Sunn O))), New York's Gang Gang Dance and This Heat frontman Charles Hayward. Months of intensive preparation go into these events, from location (venues as varied as Christiania communes, National radio studios unchanged since the '60s, churches and the King's Theater,) set design and, most importantly, fliers. Fliers are produced with the care and quality of artists' multiples, available by their thousands on the counter of every kiosk, bar and boutique in the city. Many of these works are on show here, as model and simulacrum, open editions that exist now not only as mementos of a moment but as objects that question financial worth and what constitutes a first-hand experience.
There is extensive music and literature here, from comics, posters and flier freebies to the most elaborate etched and die-cut private-press vinyl we have ever seen, the mysterious Goodiepal's tacit homage to Duchamp and his rotoreliefs. Spanning metal to spoken word and stretched psych jams, all of these limited edition sights and sounds are available in the gallery at record-shop prices, available now for the last time. Much more besides. A huge, ominous C-print landscape of intellectual solitude taken in Roskilde by a nomad. Four episodes of 'Johanne and the Troll,' the sensational children's TV series created last year that secretly introduced Danish toddlers to tenets of left-wing politics and religious tolerance. Documentation of daytime performance invasions of the back gardens of Copenhagen's suburban petit-bourgeoisie.
The show exists to be radiant, joyful and bright, a palette-cleanser in the middle of the gallery programme. It starts simple. Next month sees the mounting of TODT After Next, a bold-scaled and thoughtful reappraisal of the artists' team TODT, one of the most notorious and widely-exhibited groups of the 1980s. Over the past year we have examined a decade's worth of their exhibitions at venues from the Whitney to PS1, the Brooklyn Museum and the Venice Biennale and parsed their social strategies so that they may be re-presented for what they are: trailblazers then and trailblazers now. It promises to be a dramatic highlight of the Fleisher/Ollman season.